Netscape 7.0 Preview Release 1
Wednesday May 22nd, 2002
Netscape today unveiled Netscape 7.0 Preview Release 1, the first beta of its successor to Netscape 6. The preview is based on the recent Mozilla 1.0 RC2 build and features most of the enhancements that have been added to Mozilla since Netscape 6.2 was released, including tabbed browsing, print preview, the ability to save complete web pages, email return receipts, message labels and S/MIME support.
Netscape's proprietary components have also been improved. An enhanced Instant Messenger now supports file transfers, buddy icons and communication with ICQ users (though you cannot be signed on to both AIM and ICQ at the same time). Also new is Radio@Netscape, a streaming audio service powered by Spinner.
#75 Re: Re: User Agent
Thursday May 23rd, 2002 7:46 AM
You are replying to this message
"IE says Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows 98l en-US; IE 6blahblahblahsomethingorother) Or something very close to that."
My copy of IE says 'Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312461; .NET CLR 1.0.3705)'. (Hmm... putting the applied security patches in the user-agent string; are they trying to make holes easy to exploit?)
"No I don't know how this standard of "mozilla" got started, but I believe the early 3.0 and 4.0 versions of netsccape used this, and for some reason the early IE copied it, and it just stuck."
The codename for Netscape Navigator 1.0 was Mozilla. Betas of it were variusly described as 'Mosaic network navigator', 'Mosaic Netscape' and 'Netscape Navigator'. The user-agent string in both the betas and final version began with 'Mozilla' (presumably they didn't want to break compatibility). Netscape Navigator 1.0 used 'Mozilla/1.0' and later versions updated the string to reflect the version number (e.g. 'Mozilla/2.02').
When IE first launched, it was pants and no-one used it. However, it began to support some of Netscape's proprietary extensions. Websites that used these extensions used browser sniffing to serve different content to non-Netscape browsers. Microsoft wanted to join the party so they gave IE a user-agent starting with 'Mozilla' and claimed that it was 'compatible'. This convention stuck and many other browsers began to imitate Netscape.
When IE5 came out in 1999, there was no final Netscape 5.0 release, so IE carried on pretending to be Netscape Communicator 4.0. They didn't update the string for IE6 either so I think they may have decided just to stay with 'Mozilla/4.0' (it makes browser-sniffing easier, as sniffers determine IE by the 'MSIE' bit anyway). Mozilla came after Netscape Communicator 4.x so it uses the 'Mozilla/5.0' string. The Mozilla Organization published a user-agent string spec <http://www.mozilla.org/bu…d-user-agent-strings.html> and Mozilla-based browsers such as Netscape 6.x and Netscape 7.x follow this. As the Mozilla build is contained elsewhere in the string (in the 'rv:' bit), I'm not sure whether the 'Mozilla/5.0' will ever be incremented (I guess we'll find out with Mozilla 1.1: it should logically be 'Mozilla/5.1').